Susan's Story

Susan Kay Eken was born in Spokane, WA on November 27th in 1966. At a young age, her parents, Jean and Allen, moved Susan and her 5 siblings to Bellevue, WA.

From an early age Susan loved to play sports along with the rest of her siblings. Like her father, who was a school teacher, Susan was naturally smart. Susan had a passion for reading and helping others, which was evident from the time she was able to talk. She attended Newport High School where she graduated in 1985 top of her class. She had played basketball, softball, volleyball and badminton all throughout high school.

From Newport she went to The University of Washington where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. During her years at the UW, Susan met her first husband, Joe Brockert. In August of 1989, they got married. 2 years after marriage, Joe and Susan moved to Portland, OR where Joe’s family was. Susan worked for Molded Container Inc. for several years until she got pregnant with her first daughter, Madeline in 1994.

Madeline Noel was born in January of 1995. When Madeline was 1, Susan, Joe and Madeline moved to Bellevue, WA to be closer to Susan’s family. Susan then got a job at BDA where she ended up working until the day she died. In July of 2000, Susan and Joe had their second child, Jacob Gray. In 2005, after being together for over 18, Susan and Joe received a divorce. Joe and Susan stayed good friends for their children. Susan got to travel a lot after the divorce to such places as France, Italy, Costa Rica and New York. Traveling was a passion of hers. Meanwhile, Susan continued to work at BDA, moving her way up in the company and becoming more and more respected. She also started to date here and there, until she met Howard Zimmerman in 2009. They were off and on constantly and their relationship would be easily described as verbally abusive. She never took his threats seriously because there was no previous physical abuse up until the night of the murder.

On May 24th, while Susan was with Zimmerman in Hawaii for a 15 year anniversary work trip, Zimmerman brutally beat Susan to death. This effected thousands of people. Since her death, The BDA Cares Foundation has started the movement called Susan’s Rock and the walk called Rock the Needle in Susan’s honor. Her family has started The Susan Kay Brockert Foundation with the hopes of carrying out her legacy and name.